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Maintenance Fee - Newbie Questions

JSnyder

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We are anticipating buying our first timeshare from an existing owner and have a question regarding the maintenance fees. If we "take over" the current owner's maintenance fee, does the resort honor the current owner's maintenance fee or do they charge you (as a new owner) the current resort maintenance fee? This is really a grey area for us to understand and do not want to get into a situation where the maintenance fees are more than renting a hotel room.

We are hesitant to pull the trigger on buying as we are uncertain what amount we may ultimately get charged.

We've learned a lot from the different articles posted as well as the communication threads. Keep up the good work!
Thank you,
JSnyder
 

presley

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The MFs are the same for all owners, but expect the fees to rise every year. There are some cases where you can get a cheaper hotel room depending on when and where you book. If you are looking at a timeshare strictly as a money saving thing, you will probably be disappointed. If you want a timeshare because you want a vacation home, want a full kitchen, need bedrooms, etc, you will enjoy it.
 

Passepartout

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What Presley said. Many (most?) timeshares built in an inflation protection to their contracts that called for an increase in MF that more-or-less tracks inflation, usually with a cap of 5% annual increase or so. Which was all well and good back in the bad ol' days when almost all TSs were sols by developers and there was virtually no resale market, and MFs were $200-$400 a year. As we've all learned about the 'magic' of compound interest, now MFs are minimally $600 to like $1500 (in places like Hawaii). They are rivalling lower cost hotel rooms.

Now, comparing (most) timeshares with hotel rooms is comparing apples to grapes. There just are not many hotels with 2-and 3 bedrooms, full kitchens, washer/dryers, acres of landscaped grounds in places with activities either provided or available close by to keep families of people of all ages entertained for a week or many at a time.

Welcome to TUG. Do some studying here on how to use your new purchase for the best value.

Jim
 

JSnyder

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Thanks for the information..... And do understand the hotel vs timeshare benefits & issues.

I guess the specific question is that through the selling timeshare owner, the MF supposedly are $675; however, if I go through the real estate agent for the exact same timeshare layout, the MF are $950. We have a friend who is a current owner of the same layout timeshare and their MF fees are $735. Granted, we are talking about weeks; current timeshare owner, week 20; real estate agent, week 38; and my friend is week 11.
Hopefully you can see my confusion.

Thank you,
JSnyder
 

BevL

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If you're buying into the popular spiel from timeshare salesmen that you're in effect prepaying vacations by buying a timeshare, my respectful suggestion would be to take another look at the timesharing concept.

There are annual fees, as you know, but those fees are not fixed in stone. They can rise, and can rise substantially. So what the current owner is paying is not an indication of what you will be paying next year or in five years or 10 years from now.

As well, if the resort you own at suffers some sort of catastrophe, or has not been properly maintained and then needs a bunch of maintenance done at once, you can also be looking at a special assessment. Those can run into thousands of dollars.

Edited to add:

I was posting at the same time you were.

It's not at all uncommon for folks who are selling their timeshares, including agents, to not verify maintenance fees. Or perhaps one person includes a reserve fee charged for future maintenance and one is not. Perhaps one is relating what they paid last year, one has checked to see what the current fees for 2017, which possibly have just been billed and paid, were.

There are not that many resorts - a few but not many - that charge different fees for different weeks. It's usually pretty well based on size, a studio will pay less than a two bedroom.

As with any purchase, don't rely on the seller, due diligence is critical and contacting the resort or management company to get the straight bill as to what the maintenance fees are is essential.
 
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gmarine

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The easiest way to find out the exact amount of the current maintenance fees is to call the resort and ask. Then you will know for sure.
 

tschwa2

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What is the resort, size , and week #/season?
Sometimes with Fl and CA TS, you see quotes of the MF without the taxes included. Taxes in these states vary by season and one week may be $100 or more different than another at the same resort. Also some resorts have different configurations of units with the same number of bedrooms. Different phases may also have different fees. I own one in SC where a dedicated two bedroom in one phase has a MF of about $810 and another in a different phase (different HOA) with a MF of about $950 and a 2 br lockoff with a MF of about $1050.
 

csxjohn

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The easiest way to find out the exact amount of the current maintenance fees is to call the resort and ask. Then you will know for sure.

This is the best thing to do. Call with the current owners name, unit number and week. They should be able to tell you.

Some resorts have different MFs for the different seasons and as tschwa2 points out, for different HOAs in the same resort.
 

Msthinker

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Hello I have a question hopefully someone can help me understand: I purchased a vacation week that I am using infebruary, when I got there they said a mistake was made and I was given a lock-in fee that did not include the yearly increases. I paid the week price in full and thought that was it, but they asked if I wanted to purchase and I said no, then they said I have to sign over my equity from my package to the resort. How is it that I even have any equity when I just purchased a vacation package for 7 days, and they will not give me how much equity and said if I don't sign it over to them I will have to pay an additional amount at checkout for my week even though my lock-in fee has been fully paid. Hopefully someone can explain this to me. Thanks
 
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Msthinker

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Also do I have to sign anything over to the resort when I purchased a discount vacation package for a week and paid the price on my contract in full
 

presley

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I guess the specific question is that through the selling timeshare owner, the MF supposedly are $675; however, if I go through the real estate agent for the exact same timeshare layout, the MF are $950. We have a friend who is a current owner of the same layout timeshare and their MF fees are $735.
Some people quote their MFs as only their maintenance fees. Others will quote the entire truth, the MFs, the property taxes, the reserves and any club fees.

To find exactly what the last MFs were (2016), ask for a copy of the billing statement. It will show a breakdown of the fees. If you don't see property taxes, they are billed separately by the county and you'll need to ask how much those are. If you takeover a specific contract, you won't have different fees. You will pay exactly what the owner paid + any normal increases.

It's not unreasonable for $675. to be the MF portion of an entire bill of $950.
 

Passepartout

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Msthinker, you haven't given enough information to understand the problem. What resort? System? Do you have a deed or did you just purchase a week's use there? Who is this 'they' that told you these things?

What you are saying just doesn't make sense. Fill in the details and maybe we can help you understand.

Jim
 

JSnyder

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Thanks Presley... That makes sense to me so will have additional questions to ask. Thanks so much for everyone's response!!! It has been most helpful.:)
 

theo

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Hello I have a question hopefully someone can help me understand: I purchased a vacation week that I am using infebruary, when I got there they said a mistake was made and I was given a lock-in fee that did not include the yearly increases. I paid the week price in full and thought that was it, but they asked if I wanted to purchase and I said no, then they said I have to sign over my equity from my package to the resort. How is it that I even have any equity when I just purchased a vacation package for 7 days, and they will not give me how much equity and said if I don't sign it over to them I will have to pay an additional amount at checkout for my week even though my lock-in fee has been fully paid. Hopefully someone can explain this to me. Thanks

Sorry, but I can make absolutely no sense of this post at all...

Did you perhaps purchase / sign some kind of promotional "travel package" agreement --- one whose alleged "value" (either in whole or in part) would maybe have been applied to a timeshare purchase if you had you ultimately chosen to "buy in" there while on site? Where was this, exactly? Who exactly did you pre-pay for whatever it was that you apparently purchased? What "contract" did you execute in advance of your visit? The "equity" reference also completely escapes me, frankly. :confused::shrug::confused:
 
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Msthinker

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Yes I am confused as well I went for a presentation in Miami for Westgate and decided not to buy and they gave me option to buy a week with Westgate, so I paid for days in a 2 bedroom, when I got here they said if I do not purchase property, I would have to sign over my equity to resort. Didn't know the money I paid was setting in a bank gaining equity, unsure what is going on
 

Msthinker

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I do believe if I decided to buy what I already paid would go towards the total price for timeshare, but I chose not to buy, why would I have to pay at end of week if it says there is no obligation to buy or have paid in full what was designated as lock-in price
 

presley

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I do believe if I decided to buy what I already paid would go towards the total price for timeshare, but I chose not to buy, why would I have to pay at end of week if it says there is no obligation to buy or have paid in full what was designated as lock-in price

I doubt anyone here will know. Westgate is considered the slimiest, most scammy timeshare company out there. I've never heard of them ever telling the truth about anything. Read whatever contract you originally signed and whatever the paperwork you signed says is what you are obligated to/entitled to. It's what is listed on signed documents that is real and not anything that they ever say.
 

Msthinker

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Passepartout, it was from Westgate and I do not have a deed I just have a Vacation Occupancy and Price Lock Agreement, it was a complimentary week, unsure where equity came in or why I need to pay more
 

Msthinker

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The sales people here that do presentation is the one's that told me I needed to sign over the equity from my vacation package to Westgate resorts, they won't tell me how much equity, but the fact I need to sign it over to them here at resort
 

theo

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Yes I am confused as well I went for a presentation in Miami for Westgate and decided not to buy and they gave me option to buy a week with Westgate, so I paid for days in a 2 bedroom, when I got here they said if I do not purchase property, I would have to sign over my equity to resort. Didn't know the money I paid was setting in a bank gaining equity, unsure what is going on

Well, your belated revelation of the word "Westgate" provides some unfortunate but helpful insight. Those people would say / do just about anything to make a sale.
All bets are off when slimy, deceitful Westgate Weasels are involved, so I can only speculate. My admittedly unsubstantiated theory follows:

It sounds like you pre-paid to stay at a Westgate property, maybe at "discounted" rate because you likely agreed under signature to attend a "presentation" (sales pitch).
If you had been foolish enough to actually purchase a timeshare from these parasites, through some smoke and mirrors / "magic math" your payment would surely be either "subtracted" or maybe suddenly called a "down payment" toward a grossly inflated price, developer-direct purchase.

IMnsHO, use of the word "equity" on their part was likely inaccurate, inappropriate and deliberately misleading. Forget that you ever actually heard it spoken.

The good news here seems to be that you were very wise (...so far) not to purchase from Westgate; congratulations on dodging that horrific and expensive bullet.
The bad news here is that whatever you pre-paid in that "package" is almost certainly gone and gone forever. Call it a wash, count your blessings and run away!

P.S. As Jim wisely suggests in the post directly below, do not sign anything presented to you by these lying parasites. They will attempt to smooth talk you, cajole you, keep you off balance and confuse you. I hope that your "price-lock agreement" was not actually a thinly disguised sales contract masquerading as something else.
Even if so, state law still allows you to cancel any such developer-direct purchase contract within a limited and very specific time period identified by individual state law (you have mentioned Miami; the applicable Florida state law cancellation period is 10 days from contract execution).
 
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Passepartout

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OK, I think I might understand now. It's Wastegate as they are known here. You bought a 'trial' package, and now they want you to pay them more to 'buy more, and have intimated that you have some 'equity' in this trial package.

Best advice is that whatever the sales department (and everyone there has some role in it) are lies. have as little as possible to do with them. Unplug the phone and leave as soon as your obligation is complete.

MOST IMPORTANT! Buy NOTHING. SIGN NOTHING.

Dealing with Wastegate explains everything about why your post made no sense. It's because nothing you are told by their weasels makes sense.

Jim
 

WinniWoman

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I know at our resort the maintenance fees go by square footage, not number of bedrooms, etc.
 

Msthinker

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Thank you all for your advice, I knew it sounded shady when they started mentioning equity and me having to sign to decline something that I never agreed to have
 
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